Tea is one of the favorite beverages of people all around the world. Several research studies have shown the numerous health benefits of tea. Moreover, the preparation style of each tea can be considered as an art form. The complex flavor of each tea, its brewing method, and its way of consumption hold cultural value from the ancient ages.
If you want to step into the world of tea and venture out to be a tea connoisseur, it is essential to learn about the common types of teas and their nutritional qualities. This article will provide you with a simple introduction to the world of different teas and their advantages.
True Teas vs. Herbal Teas
While there are different types of teas, there are mainly two categories of teas: true tea and herbal tea. True tea is the tea leaves that originate from the tea plant Camellia sinensis. There is no other type of actual tea plant.
Tea beverages that are not brewed with components of the Camellia sinensis plant are not considered true teas. They are denoted as tisanes or herbal teas. They are designated as teas as they involve steeping the dried leaves, roots, or fruits.
The Different Types of True Teas
There are numerous types of true teas, but the most common ones are green tea, black tea, oolong tea, Pu-erh, and white tea.
Green tea is made from either withered or fresh, steamed or lightly heated leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. The tea has a refreshing and crisp flavor as its preparation involves halting the oxidation process. This absence of oxidation contributes to the complex flavor profile of the tea.
The flavor profile can be described as slightly grassy, fresh, and light. Different green teas have slight variations in their flavors. The tastes can vary from fruity to nutty to seaweed-like. The cultivation of the tea, the soil it has grown, and the way it has been processed determine the flavor components.
Some common variants of green tea are matcha, sencha, Biluochun, Laoshan, and Gyokuro. You can get these teas from various grocery stores or reputable online sites like IKKYU Premium Japanese Green Tea.
Green Tea’s Health Perks
An increasing number of people are incorporating green tea in their daily diet due to its numerous proven health benefits. Studies suggest that green tea has the following benefits:
- Promotes healthy heart conditions
- Rich in antioxidants that improve brain function, lower risk of cardiovascular disease, promote loss of fat and protect against cancer.
- Combats bad breath as it contains catechins that inhibit bacterial growth in the oral cavity.
- Aids in controlling blood sugar levels.
Black tea is the most common type of true tea. It is made by the Camellia plant leaves being crushed, rolled, torn, or curled, and then oxidized before getting dried. The dark and robust flavor profile of black tea comes from the full oxidation process.
This tea is often sold in a blend of differently processed black tea, contributing to the unique flavor profile. The taste is also impacted by the season and location of the tea plant. Black tea is mass-produced in India, China, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka.
The most common black teas are Assam black tea, Earl Grey, English Breakfast, and Ceylon black tea.
Health Benefits of Black Tea
There are numerous studies and research that claim that black tea has the following health benefits:
- Black tea includes caffeine as well as L-theanine that is an amino acid that can help you focus. This amino acid improves attention and alertness by increasing alpha activity in the brain.
- It may help reduce cancer cell development.
- Black tea contains antimicrobial properties and polyphenols that may boost gut health and immunity.
The Different Types of Herbal Teas
Herbal teas are also known as tisanes. These teas are not considered true teas as the leaves are not from the Camellia plant. However, they are steeped, brewed, and consumed in the same way as the true teas.
There are numerous types of true teas. The most common herbal teas are chamomile, ginger, mint, hibiscus, and rooibos.
Chamomile is an elegant and aromatic herb that comes from the Asteraceae plant family. For centuries, people have been consuming chamomile tea for its therapeutic properties. The tea is made from dried Chamomile flowers, making it an aesthetically pleasing drink.
There are mainly two varieties of chamomile: Roman and German chamomile. Roman chamomile is also known as English chamomile. Their growth is a bit different, and their appearances also differ slightly as they come from different species of the same plant.
Health Benefits of Chamomile Tea
Chamomile has always been used as a herbal remedy for a wide range of issues. Researchers are increasingly carrying out studies to explore its remedial effect in managing different ailments, including cancer. Research suggests chamomile tea has the following health benefits:
- Help reduce menstrual pain
- Helps control blood sugar levels
- Slows down osteoporosis
- Has anti-inflammatory properties
- Helps people relax and improves sleep quality
The ginger plant comes from the same family as the health-beneficial spices turmeric and cardamom. Besides adding more dimension to the flavors of numerous delectable dishes, this spicy root has numerous antimicrobial and other healthy properties. For thousands of years, people have been consuming them for therapeutic purposes.
Ginger tea is made by steeping freshly grated ginger or dried ginger in hot water for a few minutes. The heated water will draw out the oils from the ginger. You can make your ginger tea by simply slicing or grating fresh ginger into a cup of hot water. You can also buy its dried variations or tea bags from the nearest general store.
Health Benefits of Ginger Tea
Ginger contains anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. It has been used as a natural and herbal remedy for numerous remedies. The numerous health benefits are listed in the following:
- Eases nausea and other digestive discomforts
- Soothes sore throats
- Helps alleviate sore muscles, menstrual cramps, headaches, and other types of pain
- Research shows ginger combats several different types of cancer cells
Whether you choose true teas or tisanes, there are many ways you can enjoy your tea and its health benefits. The majority of teas contain anti-inflammatory properties and flavonoids that contribute to numerous health advantages. Whatever tea you choose to drink, all of them have a soothing effect.